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Survivalism Is Not Necessarily Ludditism

Joel writes:

Things that aren’t necessities but may as well be

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I have a book that a reader sent me a year or two ago – and I apologize but I don’t remember who sent it – It’s about a guy who took it into his head to semi-retire into the Alaskan outback, near or above the Arctic circle. You know, just go out there and build a cabin and live.

Now, that’s more-or-less the plot of Into the Wild, and I think we know how that story turned out. But this older guy, Richard Proenneke, wasn’t some overindulged and suicidally starry-eyed kid. He was an old Alaska hand and actually knew what he was doing. He built a cabin that was a literal work of art – after he got old and retired from retiring, it became a tourist attraction for really hardy tourists. It makes the Secret Lair look like a particularly disreputable shed. And he made nearly every part of it from native wood or stone or bone – hell, he carved wooden door hinges.

Every single thing he had that he couldn’t make himself had to be flown in on a little bush plane and it could only happen a few months out of the year, so space and weight were real factors. And I was looking at the photographs reproduced in the book – Proenneke was a photographer, and my only complaint about the book is there aren’t enough photographs – and in one shot of the cabin’s interior I saw…a roll of paper towels.

And I had me a chuckle. Now, here’s a package of six paper towel rolls, which I just bought today…
IMG_1322
It doesn’t weigh hardly anything, of course, but it’s bulky as hell. I suppose you could open the package and distribute the rolls around the plane, but my point is that if it needs to come by bush plane, you’d have to really want that roll of paper towels. Seems like there are more important things to which you could devote that plane space.

Except maybe there aren’t. When I was first alone out here, experimenting with ways to make due with virtually no income and really studying the difference between a want and a need, I learned that the line between the two is not always clear. Some commodities, while of course you can get along without them in the sense that you won’t actually die, are themselves so useful that it almost doesn’t matter. It’s not a question of life and death, it’s a question of quality of life. Indoor plumbing: Have I ever wasted a moment wishing I hadn’t devoted all that precious Lair space to an indoor toilet? Nope, not so much as a millisecond. To the best of my knowledge, and leaving poisonous spiders out of it, nobody ever died from using an outhouse as I originally planned. But a flush toilet is just such a massive improvement that, if you’ve got the water pressure, only an idiot would decide not to go ahead and dig for a septic system. Electricity’s the same way: Not a necessity of life, but look at all the things it makes possible.

Those are big things. There’s a myriad of little ones, like paper towels. It’s good to pay attention and learn what those things are, because it’s the little things that mark the difference between living and just surviving.

PAY ATTENTION – my personal motto.

I’ve found in my years that had I paid attention (or more attention) perhaps things would have turned our better or differently.  Perhaps not.

But almost always were worse for having not done so.

WHAT Are Those Four Rules, Again?

(from Free North Carolina)

https://i1.wp.com/wusa-download.edgesuite.net/video/2163306/2163306_Thumb.jpg
 Brilliant.

An officer in the Metropolitan Police Department’s first district “dry-fired” an unloaded weapon at the head of another officer during a roll-call meeting on Saturday afternoon, possibly under orders from a sergeant as part of a training exercise, four MPD sources tell WUSA9.

Those sources say a Sergeant later told officers in the room that they had secretly ordered the officer to unload his weapon and then pretend to fire on his colleague as part of a “training exercise” on situational awareness. The officer then pulled the trigger of the unloaded weapon while pointing it at the head of an officer until it audibly clicked, the sources say.

Both the officer who allegedly fired the weapon and the sergeant who allegedly ordered him are assigned to regular duties, pending an internal affairs investigation, MPD spokesman Sean Hickman tells WUSA9.

“I can tell you there are about seven different versions of the incident that are out there,” MPD Chief Cathy Lanier told reporters on Monday. “I’m not sure which or how many of those that you’ve heard, but I prefer to wait until I see some facts and some direct statements of what happened before I make a judgment.”

Who said law enforcement officers are better trained than the public?  I know the officer probably needs his/her paycheck, but I think my response would have been something akin to “Are you SERIOUS?”, and if the response were in the affirmative, QUIT ON THE SPOT!
Should there have been an ‘accident’, I’m certain the officer in question would have used the defense “I was just following orders!” – a defense we’ve heard before, somewhere.
For The Four Rules in question, please refer to the blog sidebar…

Today’s Lesson: Read The Fine Print

scottWhen I moved in with J. (a good friend and ex-gf ) over three years ago! (Where does the time go?  “Cleveland!” – G. Carlin), she noticed we prefer different brands of TP.

She likes the girly, soft stuff, promoted by cartoon bears.  I prefer coarser grit stuff, like Scott Tissue.  And, when I can afford to, I purchase it in 12-packs (above). (I know, TMI)

And there is a small coupon for points toward something free on the package.  School Supplies, I think.  One of J’s customers is a schoolteacher, and has need for such things.

So J. asked me to collect the coupons for her friend.

And I did, as much of a PITA doing so was (no pun intended)…

After I had collected YEARS of these things, I presented J. with the bundle.  Turns out about HALF had expired!  I hadn’t noticed there was an EXPIRATION DATE on them!  :-(

I failed to read the fine print!

So, here it is Tax Time.  Regular readers know I am loathe to giving the government money, especially taxes! As oft happens, I just file under-the-wire.  I call myself Last Minute Louie.

And for the past couple of years, I’ve been using Tax Act software.  I used to use Turbo Tax, but when my income dropped, I couldn’t afford it!

Tax Act starts sending out reminder emails even before Jan 1, mentioning the sooner you purchase it, the cheaper it is.

Being of modest income (and not wanting to file, anyway) I put off the purchase.  Until I began preparation on Sunday.

And the total was much more than I anticipated!  And I didn’t have the money.  :-(

But, I able to finagle the fee to efile my tax returns MONDAY (two weeks ago).  Last Minute Louie it is!

Lesson learned – from now on I shall read the fine print!

(FTC – in no way is this an endorsement of either or any tax software product)

Pioneers, Geniuses And Leeches

Oh, my!

I was reviewing some old posts for inspiration, and a pioneer’s name leapt from the page.  We all are familiar with John Browning, Jeff Cooper and company, but I also remember others, perhaps less lauded…

Mel Tappan

Mel was an early (1970’s) survivalist, who wrote of prepping and related matters.  He, Jeff Cooper and others wrote of such things, when most folks were remembering their family’s bomb shelters of 10 years earlier, and pooh-poohing such concepts.

…He then wrote a monthly column on survival topics titled “Survival Notes” for Guns & Ammo magazine. Shortly before his death, he also wrote a few monthly columns as the Survival Editor for Soldier of Fortune magazine. Through these publications and his 1977 book Survival Gunswhich as of 2010 is still in print after more than 32 years – he became an influential spokesman of the “armed-defense” wing of the Survivalist movement. The back cover of Survival Guns quotes Laura Cunningham of The New York Times as describing Tappan as “The Survivalist voice of reason.” (Wikipedia)

He passed way-too-young at age 47 of heart failure.

Other pioneers and geniuses came to mind.

Jim Cirillo

Jim Cirillo was a noted firearms trainer and former member of the NYPD’s elite Stakeout Unit (often called the “Stakeout Squad”). He died on July 12, 2007 as a result of an automobile accident versus a semi tractor-trailer.

In his five years on the Stakeout Unit, from 1968-1973, he was involved in seventeen gunfights.

In more recent years, he was involved in firearms training for police and civilians, publishing books and videos on the subject through Paladin Press, and teaching classes at a number of private schools.

Cirillo also worked on bullet design, creating bullet noses designed to “dig into” a target rather than deflecting from them.  (Wikibin)

I’m fond of quoting him when the subject of handgun bullet stopping power is raised.  Jim said, “Stopping power begins at 12 gauge.”  With is real-life experience, I’m inclined to believe him.

Bruce Nelson

Bruce was a retired law enforcement officer, one of the top holster makers and leather craftsmen in the country. A renowned firearms and police officer survival instructor, Bruce was one of the founders of the International Practical Shooting Confederation and a well-know author, gun rights activist and community leader. (Tucsoncitizen.com)

Bruce had been a California narcotic’s officer who tired of the cheap leather crap being foisted upon him to use to carry his .45 automatic.  He solved the problem by designing (and later selling) a holster of his own design christened the Summer Special.  Later, he sold the design to Milt Sparks, who has been sellingsummer-special variants of the original design ever since.  Many holster manufacturers have copied it.

Bruce was married to firearms-activist (and later NRA president) Sandra (Sandy) Froman, a pioneer in her own right.

Bruce, too, passed at age 47.

When I originally was forming the idea for this post, I was going to also include people of the leech variety – the names of Karl Marx (who never worked a job a day in his life, and sponged off co-author Friedrich Engels) and Bernie Sanders (whose first paying job was at age 40 – helping folks apply for public assistance) came to mind.

Then, I decided against it.

Doing so would sully the name of such individual rights pioneers

Hell, it’s MY blog…

(FTC – Mel, Jim and Bruce imparted wisdom to me.  No money exchanged hands – except from me for holsters and magazines.  Karl and Bernie?  Not so much…)

How Tough ARE You?

I’m more tough than I used to be – but hardly a marathon-running spec ops guy.  I’ve beaten cancer (2x) and a serious car wreck.

Frankly, most days just walking is a challenge. 😦

But, I read about these bubble-wrapped snowflakes in colleges, demanding safe spaces to share their feelings, because they say a chalk writing on the pavement in support of a presidential candidate with whom they disagree distresses them!

And that makes me sick!

THEN, I read about THIS guy (courtesy of my friend Borepatch)

Badass of the year

Russian Special Forces officer surrounded by ISIS calls in airstrike on himself.

Hat tip: Chris Lynch.

Why is it I keep reading about Russians and Ghurkas and other furrin’ folk who are TOUGH – but no ‘Mericans?  Enquiring minds want to know…?

Do It Yourself!

(Within your State and federal guidelines, and laws, of course! – Guffaw)

Shuty 3D Printed Semi-auto is Ready

Via WRSA

WT3EnHil

View post on imgur.com

PLA plastic printed semi Inspired by the Luty designs, is now here.
Too many pics to post here so here are the imgur gallery links.
Final files done yesterday.
Download the files today.
 
 
Of course, the folks who wish to restrict your rights and ban everything are VERY upset by the ever-increasing easiness of this emerging technology.  Those criminals who simply steal other’s firearms will undoubtedly find this method simpler…
MAROONS!

Nothing To See Here – Move Along, Part Dos

from Wirecutter:

Two bullet casings that might have proven an FBI agent shot at Robert “LaVoy” Finicum apparently disappeared from the scene shortly after the Jan. 26 highway confrontation turned deadly, according to law enforcement sources and newly released police reports.

Five FBI agents assigned to the traffic stop told investigators that none of them fired at Finicum’s Dodge pickup after it crashed at their roadblock. Oregon investigators, however, concluded that one agent fired twice at the truck, hitting it once in the roof and missing on the second shot.
MORE
-Elmo

Evidence tampering?

Or just p*** poor CSI work?

Stupid America

(as seen in SHTFplan.com)

Depressing Survey Results Show How Extremely Stupid America Has Become

This article was originally published by Michael Snyder at The Economic Collapse Blog.

Ten years ago, a major Hollywood film entitled “Idiocracy” was released, and it was an excellent metaphor for what would happen to America over the course of the next decade.  In the movie, an “average American” wakes up 500 years in the future only to discover that he is the most intelligent person by far in the “dumbed down” society that he suddenly finds himself in.  Sadly, I truly believe that if people of average intellect from the 1950s and 1960s were transported to 2016, they would likely be considered mental giants compared to the rest of us.  We have a country where criminals are being paid $1000 a month not to shoot people, and the highest paid public employee in more than half the states is a football coach.  Hardly anyone takes time to read a book anymore, and yet the average American spends 302 minutes a day watching television. 75 percent of our young adults cannot find Israel on a map of the Middle East, but they sure know how to find smut on the Internet.  It may be hard to believe, but there are more than 4 million adult websites on the Internet today, and they get more traffic than Netflix, Amazon and Twitter combined.

What in the world has happened to us?  How is it possible that we have become so stupid?  According to a brand new report that was recently released, almost 10 percent of our college graduates believe that Judge Judy is on the Supreme Court…

The American Council of Trustees and Alumni publishes occasional reports on what college students know.

Nearly 10 percent of the college graduates surveyed thought Judith Sheindlin, TV’s “Judge Judy,” is a member of the U.S. Supreme Court. Less than 20 percent of the college graduates knew the effect of the Emancipation Proclamation. More than a quarter of the college graduates did not know Franklin D. Roosevelt was president during World War II; one-third did not know he was the president who spearheaded the New Deal.

It can be tempting to laugh at numbers like these until you realize that survey after survey has come up with similar results.

Just consider what Newsweek found a few years ago…

When NEWSWEEK recently asked 1,000 U.S. citizens to take America’s official citizenship test, 29 percent couldn’t name the vice president. Seventy-three percent couldn’t correctly say why we fought the Cold War. Forty-four percent were unable to define the Bill of Rights. And 6 percent couldn’t even circle Independence Day on a calendar.

Even worse were the extremely depressing results of a study conducted a few years ago by Common Core…

*Only 43 percent of all U.S. high school students knew that the Civil War was fought some time between 1850 and 1900.

*More than a quarter of all U.S. high school students thought that Christopher Columbus made his famous voyage across the Atlantic Ocean after the year 1750.

*Approximately a third of all U.S. high school students did not know that the Bill of Rights guarantees freedom of speech and freedom of religion.

*Only 60 percent of all U.S. students knew that World War I was fought some time between 1900 and 1950.

Of course survey results can be skewed, and much hinges on how the questions are asked.

However, even studies that are scientifically conducted confirm how stupid America has become.  In fact, a report from the Educational Testing Service found that Americans are falling way behind much of the rest of the industrialized world.  The following comes from CBS News

Americans born after 1980 are lagging their peers in countries ranging from Australia to Estonia, according to a new report from researchers at the Educational Testing Service (ETS). The study looked at scores for literacy and numeracy from a test called the Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies, which tested the abilities of people in 22 countries.

The results are sobering, with dire implications for America. It hints that students may be falling behind not only in their early educational years but at the college level. Even though more Americans between the ages of 20 to 34 are achieving higher levels of education, they’re still falling behind their cohorts in other countries. In Japan, Finland and the Netherlands, young adults with only a high school degree scored on par with American Millennials holding four-year college degrees, the report said.

Out of 22 countries that were part of the study, the Educational Testing Service found that Americans were dead last in tech proficiency, dead last in numeracy and only two countries performed worse than us when it came to literacy proficiency

Half of American Millennials score below the minimum standard of literacy proficiency. Only two countries scored worse by that measure: Italy (60 percent) and Spain (59 percent). The results were even worse for numeracy, with almost two-thirds of American Millennials failing to meet the minimum standard for understanding and working with numbers. That placed U.S. Millennials dead last for numeracy among the study’s 22 developed countries.

So why has this happened?

Why have we become such an extremely stupid nation?

Well, at least a portion of the blame must be directed at our system of education.  The following is an excerpt from an article written by reporter Mark Morford.  In this article, he shared how one of his friends which had served for a very long time as a high school teacher in Oakland, California was considering moving out of the country when he retired due to the relentless “dumb-ification of the American brain”

It’s gotten so bad that, as my friend nears retirement, he says he is very seriously considering moving out of the country so as to escape what he sees will be the surefire collapse of functioning American society in the next handful of years due to the absolutely irrefutable destruction, the shocking — and nearly hopeless — dumb-ification of the American brain. It is just that bad.

Now, you may think he’s merely a curmudgeon, a tired old teacher who stopped caring long ago. Not true. Teaching is his life. He says he loves his students, loves education and learning and watching young minds awaken. Problem is, he is seeing much less of it.

And of course things don’t get much better when it comes to our college students.  In a previous article, I shared some statistics from USA Today about the rapidly declining state of college education in the United States…

-“After two years in college, 45% of students showed no significant gains in learning; after four years, 36% showed little change.”

-“Students also spent 50% less time studying compared with students a few decades ago”

-“35% of students report spending five or fewer hours per week studying alone.”

-“50% said they never took a class in a typical semester where they wrote more than 20 pages”

-“32% never took a course in a typical semester where they read more than 40 pages per week.”

I spent eight years studying at some of the finest public universities in the country, and I can tell you from personal experience that even our most challenging college courses have been pathetically dumbed down.

And at our “less than finest” public universities, the level of education can be something of a bad joke.  In another previous article, I shared some examples of actual courses that have been taught at U.S. universities in recent years…

-“What If Harry Potter Is Real?

-“Lady Gaga and the Sociology of Fame

-“Philosophy And Star Trek

-“Learning From YouTube

-“How To Watch Television

Could you imagine getting actual college credit for a course entitled “What If Harry Potter Is Real?”

This is why many of our college graduates can barely put two sentences together.  They aren’t being challenged, and the quality of the education most of them are receiving is incredibly poor.

But even though they aren’t being challenged, students are taking longer to get through college than ever.  Federal statistics reveal that only 36 percent of all full-time students receive a bachelor’s degree within four years, and only 77 percent of all full-time students have earned a bachelor’s degree by the end of six years.

Of course our system of education is not entirely to blame.  The truth is that young Americans spend far more time consuming media than they do hitting the books, and what passes for “entertainment” these days is rapidly turning their brains to mush.

According to a report put out by Nielsen, this is how much time the average American spends consuming media on various devices each day…

Watching live television: 4 hours, 32 minutes

Watching time-shifted television: 30 minutes

Listening to the radio: 2 hours, 44 minutes

Using a smartphone: 1 hour, 33 minutes

Using Internet on a computer: 1 hour, 6 minutes

When you add it all up, the average American spends more than 10 hours a day plugged into some form of media.

And if you allow anyone to pump “programming” into your mind for 10 hours a day, it is going to have a dramatic impact.

In the end, I truly believe that we all greatly underestimate the influence that the mainstream media has on all of us.  We willingly plug into “the Matrix” for endless hours, but then somehow we still expect “to think for ourselves”.

There are very few of us that can say that we have not been exposed to thousands upon thousands of hours of conditioning.  And all of that garbage can make it very, very difficult to think clearly.

It is not because of a lack of input that we have become so stupid as a society.  The big problem is what we are putting into our minds.

If we continue to put garbage in, we are going to continue to get garbage out, and that is the cold, hard reality of the matter.

We have an election coming up.  And many of these folks vote.

I weep for our Nation.

 

h/t Doc in Yuma

A Must-Read From The Patrick Henry Society

(via Wirecutter – in part)

In the book Learning to Eat Soup With a Knife: Counterinsurgency Lessons from Malaya and Vietnam, John Nagl includes the following quote:

“When there are no economic and political foundations for the guerrilla movement, there will be no guerrilla movement. The bulk of any guerrilla movement joins out of belief in what it is doing; the hard core of leaders keeps going because of political beliefs…If the great mass of the population knows that they will be protected by a strong, just government, it has no reason to cooperate with the guerrillas, and the system of intelligence and supply that sustains all guerrilla movements breaks down. Without popular support the mopping up of the hard core die-hards is fairly easy.”

Before you scream “but the government IS NOT JUST,” you need to read that again. People like to pick out the one thing they don’t like and camp out on it but miss the rest of the idea. The government doesn’t have to be just. The unwashed masses just have to think it is. They just have to believe that the government will keep them safe–even if it’s keeping them safe from you. In a guerrilla war (even a cold one) every step, every action, every word becomes propaganda that can be leveraged by one side or the other. Ask yourself what will be remembered about the Malheur takeover—not what YOU will remember about the coverage, but what the public will remember. You may remember the sight of LaVoy Finicum lying in the snow, but the public will remember David Frye complaining that he couldn’t have his marijuana and ranting about UFOs while holding a gun to his head. They’ll remember Blaine Cooper’s viral YouTube video, waving a sex toy sent to him by trolls. At some point between “Amazing Grace” on the Hammonds’ front lawn and David Frye being coaxed out, it stopped being about the message. It became a joke, and the public was laughing.
EXCERPTED FROM HERE

(…)

The government already holds most of the aces with the education/indoctrination system and media under their control, as well as military might. Once they start restricting transportation and controlling food distribution, they’ve got 90% or more of the population under control because the people will be grateful for tidbits instead of realizing the government is corralling them in tighter and tighter.

A side note for those who think a ‘revolution’ will be popularly supported.  Those folks also forget that roughly 51% of the gen pop support Hillary and/or Bernie.

A nasty, messy, bloody slog comes to mind.  With much of the population clueless as to the issues or in league with the totalitarian teat off which they feed.

Do we want history to mention a IIIper Day as Guy Fawkes Day is mentioned in Britain?

Think long and hard before you take any action which might be deemed inappropriate by those in power.

Democrats AND Republicans

Having ‘The Talk’

No, not the birds and bees with your children, or the inane TV show.

(from the USCCA and Kevin Michalowski)

Kevin_ITF_Email_VideoPlayer_3-14-16

Sooner or later you will have to talk to your non-gun-owning friends about why you carry. You might be asked not to carry at someone’s house. Or you might be grilled on gun safety at your house when people come to visit. I can’t give you the exact words; they are your friends, not mine. But understand that…

Read More

SO…it’s NOT just about Safety.

It’s about rights, and protection, and so much more.

There have been a few places I’ve chosen to not carry, and not by government edict, either.  It’s been about respect, perceived security, and sometimes plain ol’ convenience.

But sometimes having a civil Talk is just what seems appropriate.

"Round up the usual suspects."

In Loving Memory…

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